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Bonfire Puts Employee Appreciation Front and Centre

The winners across five categories, along with the Most Valuable Employee Award, will be announced on Friday 6 March 2020, coinciding with the annual International Employee Appreciation Day.

Bonfire created the Employee Appreciation Awards to raise awareness about the importance of employee appreciation to cultivate a positive company culture. The awards call out and celebrate the unsung heroes who underpin the success of our organisations in New Zealand. This is a chance to celebrate the people who make real change in their industries and organisations, every day.

These awards come off the back of Bonfire’s mission to make the world (including the workplace) a better place by showing appreciation more often.

“There is compelling evidence that a culture of appreciation in the workplace greatly aids employee engagement, positivity and productivity”, says Grant Jennings, General Manager at Card Works, who distribute and market the Bonfire Gift Mastercard.

“Appreciation is deeply rooted in the human truth – it’s the thought that counts. Organisations are increasingly becoming aware of its importance, so we’re creating, through an expert judging panel, some great articles and videos that will help leaders understand why it’s important to show appreciation, while giving some tips on how to implement appreciation every day”.

To judge the awards, Bonfire has brought onboard an expert-judging panel consisting of Social Anthropologist, Christopher Howard, and Corporate Culture Expert, Richard Daubney. The judges will contribute a range of thought-leadership content focused on providing insight and actionable ways organisations can build appreciation into their culture and employment brand strategies.

“It’s an honour to be contributing to such a worthy cause, that is, raising awareness for the great employees of New Zealand,” says Howard, who is also a Senior Researcher for Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

“It’s now well-known that gratitude and appreciation have a range of positive social, psychological and even physical effects on people. It’s our goal with these awards to help shift the mindset that employee appreciation is a nice-to-have, to viewing it as an essential part of organisational culture.”

The awards will give praise to the best entry in each of the five categories - Outstanding Innovator, Cloud 9 Collaborator, Humour Magnifier, Wellness Champion and Fast Fresh Starter, plus the Grand Prix Most Valuable Employee (MVE) Award, which will be selected from the winning pool. The Grand Prix winner will be presented with a golden statuette; the ultimate symbol of celebration and excellence.

“Winning a golden statuette will bestow kudos and status on the winner, but it also provides an opportunity for the whole organisation to celebrate,” says Jennings.

Coinciding with the launch of the Employee Appreciation Awards, Bonfire recently released a social experiment video in which Awards judge, Richard Daubney, participated.

“This was a fascinating social experiment which highlights just how important it is to show appreciation and how important it is for leaders to consciously adopt appreciation in their own authentic way”.

Nominations for the Bonfire Employee Appreciation Awards can now be submitted by going to

The Bonfire Employee Appreciation Awards is in association with Flipmind.

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